Leonardville City Library

"Reading is for everyone -- and everyone is a cherished patron."


The Leonardville City Library

is located at 117 N. Erpelding Avenue

across the street from the

Leonardville Community Building.

 Telephone:  785-293-5606


Tuesdays  -- 12:45 - 5:30 pm

Wednesdays  --  2:00 - 3:30 pm

Thursdays  --  2:00 - 5:30 pm

Saturdays  --  9:00 am - 12:00 noon


Leonardville Library News

(From The Riley Countian, Friday, February 3, 2012)

    I am working on reports for 2011 to send to NCKL (North Central Kansas Libraries, our supervising agency) so I thought I might share some interesting statistics about our library for 2011.  We now own 3,610 books (with 22 new ones on order) worth a total of $54,208.76.  Last year the library was used a total of 800 times and we had a book circulation of 539.  We would love to increase that number significantly for next year.  If you haven't been to see what your library has in a long time, this might be a good time to check it out.  In addition, our four computers were used a total of 360 times.

    The bookmobile was here on Monday, so we have a new selection of books from the NCKL besides the many selections our own library provides.

    We originally check out books for 3 weeks, but are happy to give you more time if you need it.  Just call or come in and let us know that the books is in use.  The library's number is 293-5606.  Specific titles can also be ordered for you if we do not currently have them.  Our overdue notices are sent out as a check on our books to make sure they are still in use and as a reminder to turn in those that are not.  Just call and let us know the status of the book if you receive a notice.

   It is always wonderful to see our books and our library being used!

Drop in to see us.

You are always welcome!



(The following history of the Library was written in 1981 and  was taken from the Leonardville Centennial book, "City of the Plains, A Story of Leonardville.")

How the Library Was Started

On November 20, 1964, Leroy Fox, then state librarian, sent Mrs. Sally Martin to speak to the Leonard Star Home Demonstration Unit at their request.  There had been much interest in establishing a public library in Leonardville, and the members of this group, as a result of her talk, began making plans to spearhead a drive to arouse wider community interest. 

Mrs. Marshall Ensign, whose husband had been transferred to the rural mail route here, had started and stocked a small library in a building north of the Farmers Union Store.  She started it simply because she needed books, and the state library supplied bundles of four or five, then ten, then fifty and more for the community.  They were delivered by the Rock Island Motor Transit Company and Blanche Ensign gave both her time and her money to get the project underway.

In 1964 reports filed showed that over two hundred individuals took advantage of the tiny library furnished with donated and mailed in books.  Other clubs of the community became interested, as did the merchants who all gave funds generously.  A request to the city council for financial aid was favorably received, and as a result the library was able to move to larger quarters.  Mrs. Joyce Olson volunteered part of her gift shop next door north of the Farmers Union, the building formerly the Erickson Cafe.  The library continued to be run by Mrs. Olson and enthusiastic volunteers from the H. D. U.

In May 1965, the gift shop and library was moved across the street into the building owned by Elton Nelson, on the west side of Erpelding Avenue.  Mrs. Olson closed out her gift shop at the end of 1965, but the library continued to rent the building.

Recognizing the need for greater library service, some of the citizens met and organized a Library Board which consisted of seven members living in the tax district, with the mayor of the city as ex officio member.  By-laws and library objectives were drawn up, and a librarian was hired.  Mrs. Juanita Chaffee, Mrs. Lena Cheeseman, Mrs. Evelyn Ruthstrom, and Mrs. Emilie Lagerquist have served as librarians over the years.  Opal Trumpp was number one helper to Blanche Ensign in the beginning.

The city council, advised that by law, a two mill levy was possible for library support, undertook to underwrite the expenses to the limit of the law.

In 1965 representatives from fifteen libraries in a nine county area met to express their desire for a library systems plan in north central Kansas.  The Kansas Systems Law had been passed in the legislature that year and provided a legal means for an association of autonomous local city, county, and regional libraries to work together to improve library service for all residents of an area.  Leonardville became one of the first libraries to submit resolutions by their respective boards asking to participate in the Systems Plan, and became a charter member of the North Central Kansas Library.

Written by Juanita Chaffee